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Eurobites: BT Revenue Up – But So Is Its Pension Deficit

Paul Rainford
10/27/2016

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia CFO resigns; business revenues shrink at KPN; ADVA revenues up 30.4% in third quarter.

  • Reported revenue at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) was up 35% year-on-year in the third quarter, to £6 billion (US$7.35 billion), though this figure includes the acquisition of mobile operator EE -- with EE out of the equation, revenue was up just 1.1%. Reported pre-tax profits increased by 5% to £671 million ($822.8 million). However, as the Daily Telegraph reports, BT's pension deficit ballooned by £3.3 billion ($4.04 billion) in three months, taking it to a party-pooping £9.5 billion ($11.6 billion). Shares had fallen by 12.7% in morning trading. The operator has also encountered a spot of bother in Italy where, as The Guardian reports, it incurred a £145 million ($177 million) charge after uncovering "historical accounting errors" at its subsidiary there. Shares in BT were down 9.45% at the time of writing.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has announced the resignation of its CFO, Timo Ihamuotila, who is leaving the company to join ABB in Switzerland. Kristian Pullola, who currently is Nokia's senior vice president, corporate controller, will take over the CFO reins on January 1. This morning Nokia reported a year-on-year 7% fall in third-quarter sales, to about €6 billion ($6.5 billion). (See Nokia Forecasts Sales Decline in 2017, Shares Fall.)

  • Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) blamed declining revenues from traditional telco services for the business market and lower wholesale voice revenues for an overall 3% decline in sales, to €1.71 billion ($1.86 billion) in the third quarter. Net profit nearly halved year-on-year, to €45 million ($49.1 million), though this was attributed to additional borrowing expenses arising from a bond tender.

  • Success in the data center interconnect and cloud access markets helped drive ADVA Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV) 's third-quarter revenue to a record high of €159.5 million ($174.2 million), though net income was down 62% year-on-year, to €3.26 million ($3.56 million).

  • South Africa's Vodacom Pty. Ltd. has teamed up with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to deploy dual-carrier high-speed uplink packet access (DC-HSUPA) technology on its network. By aggregating two continuous carriers, DC-HSUPA offers a peak uplink rate that is twice as fast as peak single-carrier uplink rates on UMTS networks, says Huawei.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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